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Conflict – most of us try to avoid it but that’s hardly possible. From May 3 to 17, we look at conflict in the early church and conflict in our own lives.
Our preaching/teaching series continues as we follow Paul on his second missionary journey. The journey begins in Acts chapter 15, but not before conflicts arise, both personal and theological, among Paul and other members of the early church. When we study how they resolved these conflicts, we can learn lessons on how we can deal with conflicts in our own lives.
One of the patterns that emerges from the story in Acts is that of resolving conflicts through both hard work on our own part and through listening to God. First, Paul, the apostles, and the elders talked, expressing their positions and their reasons for their positions. Second, they listened to each other to understand why others held conflicting positions. Next, they asked themselves: Where is God in this? Can we discern God’s will in this through the Holy Spirit? Finally, after much discussion, they came to decisions about what they must do – decisions that led to actions that affected the formation of the early church during a time of rapid growth.
Guest Preacher: On Sunday May 10, the Rev. Dr. Paul Bramer of Tyndale University and Seminary will be speaking on Constructive Conflict. Paul has taught at all levels of education, from elementary though to doctoral. He takes a special interest in Christian education and has a life-long commitment to the development of Christian leaders. We are very fortunate to have him teach us as we explore conflict in the early church.